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Making Toast

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,783 ratings  ·  956 reviews
When his daughter, Amy-a gifted doctor, mother, and wife-collapsed and died from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, left their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren, six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one year-old James, known as Bubbies. Long past ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Ecco (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  4,783 ratings  ·  956 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Roger Rosenblatt’s daughter Amy was 38, a doctor, a wife and a mother of three small children when she died. Making Toast is Rosenblatt’s memoir of how he, his wife, Ginny, and the people Amy left behind, coped with their loss. Roger and Ginny moved in with their son-in-law, Harris, and helped raise their grandkids. He writes of the day to day activities of parenting anew, of the questions the children ask, the decisions and steps required to continue living. It is a quiet book. I almost felt as ...more
Barbara Mader
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Tough to rate this one. I wanted to like it more than I did; maybe it just wasn't what I expected. The tone is very restrained, which I tend to like and did like up to a point, but it also seemed like he was afraid of his subject matter, and couldn't be as honest as he probably should have been (if you're going to get it at all right, I think you have to be fearless). The quality of the writing itself seemed OK, but he came across as emotionally underdeveloped and rather narcissistic. It doesn't ...more
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
I understand why people write books after the death of a loved one: it's cathartic. I'm less understanding of why we read them. If we don't know the people involved, what's the gain? Is it that we hope we'll handle our losses with more dignity? That death will be comprehensible? I really don't know...

This slight series of pensees (too short to be essays, not coherent enough to be anything more) doesn't offer much in the way of spiritual guidance. Rather, it's simply a father trying to make sense
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought I would love this book, but I had a big problem getting over a few issues.

I understand the feelings of unfairness in Amy's death, but like the nanny stated, they had resources that few people in their same situation had. They were better equipped in many areas than others. Rosenblatt does address this somewhat at the very end of the book, but I wish it would have come earlier.

Names, names, names. I zoned out when new people were introduced. Rosenblatt continued this throughout the en
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mothers, fathers, those grieving
Recommended to Jenna by: the radio, because I kick it old school sometimes
Shelves: 2010-read-books
I blew through this book in seven hours. It has been awhile since I've read a memoir that I didn't find trite or even annoying at times. This particular one had me laughing, crying, laughing again and mostly nodding my head. While my living children are still with me, I have endured two family deaths in less than a month. The grief has been overwhelming at times. I simply needed this book at this point.

I came across it only because I randomly stopped on a radio talk show in which Rosenblatt was
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachelle Urist
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Part 1 is my initial reaction to the book.
Part 2 is my review for the Washtenaw Jewish News.

1. A moving account of the sad, busy year following the sudden death of the author's 38 year old daughter, a pediatrician and the mother of three young children. The author and his wife move in with the grandchildren and their father, also a physician. The year of mourning includes the joys and concerns of children, the loving resourcefulness of the grandparents, the worries about their son-in-law and th
Jan 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is a spare, even elegant memoir about the aftermath of tragedy. The author's daughter, Amy, died on her treadmill from a rare congenital heart problem leaving behind her grieving children. Mr. Rosenblatt and his wife immediately moved in with their son-in-law and the three children and started the process of figuring out life after Amy.

All death has its own flavor, its own level of tragedy - the sudden death of a loved one is hard because there is no preparation - there is simply before and
Heidi Miller
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It brought back the hell and heartbreak our family entered into three years ago tomorrow. It reminded me of the pain of my displaced father and how terribly difficult that must have been for him. It reminded me of all of my children and the difficult yet very different pain they each have had to endure and navigate through. It is a pain and a loss none of us could ever, ever have imagined. We have all grown through this experience. I would like to think we are more aware of ot ...more
Nicole Harkin
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it

This is a heart wrenching, yet not dramatic, look into a family faced with tragedy. Mr. Rosenblatt’s daughter suddenly dies while running on her treadmill from an undiagnosed heart problem. She was 38, the mother of three, and a doctor.

We are lead along as Mr. Rosenblatt describes, in largely chronological vignettes, how his life changed after his daughter’s death. We hear his thinking out loud about how his relationships with everyone have changed. We are made aware of the kind of fugue people
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Amy, the author's daughter, dies suddenly, leaving her husband and three young children. Roger and Ginny move into the family home to help Amy's husband raise Jessie, Sammy, and Bubbies, the baby.

The author's memoir leads the reader through the first fourteen months after Amy's death as he learns his new duties (such as making the morning toast.)

Like Tracey Kidder, Rosenblatt doesn't overwrite or overanalyze. When he describes Sammy imitating his mother's dead body by lying on the floor with h
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a GoodReads First-Reads Selection…and what an excellent book! I don’t know where to begin raving about it. It’s a memoir of Roger Rosenblatt’s 38-year old daughter, Amy, who died suddenly from a heart problem. Roger and his wife move in with Amy’s husband, and their three young children. What special people Roger and his wife Ginny were to not even hesitate to come to the aid of their son-in-law! I cried in so many parts of the book. Roger shares his family’s life and celebrates Amy’s l ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Sad, touching memoir of a family finding their way after the death of Amy: daughter, wife, sister, friend, and mother, as told by her father. It's not overly sad and is, actually, hopeful especially for the young children left behind. This is the kind of family we all wish for - strong, supportive and loving. One feels sure that though Amy's death will always color their lives, the family members will all survive intact.

My one quarrel with this book is near the end when Amy's brother, Carl is tr
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is about a family grieving and a family growing. They lost a young and vital member, Amy, who was a doctor, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a very good friend. There was no preparing for this death--she dropped dead on the basement treadmill from an extremely rare heart defect. This book is made up of little moments in time, much like journal entries, as they family pulled together in the initial shock, then as Roger and his wife Ginny move in to help their son-in-law take care o ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I have to admit that I skimmed the middle section of the book; I just got bored. Rosenblatt is understandably angry after the death of his daughter in the prime of her life leaving behind three young children who needed her. What bothered me was his searing anger at a god he had spent his life so proudly ignoring. I couldn't figure it out. He states more than once that he raised his children in a nonreligious home: god has never been a part of their lives; yet, suddenly this is all god's fault. ...more
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sera by: First Read
I feel badly for the man who wrote this memoir where he finds himself at a loss over the sudden death of his daughter, Amy. Her loss is a tragedy to all of us, because she was an amazing woman who made a difference both within her family and within her community. However, she was part of what seems to be a perfect family. They have money, great jobs, and they have famous friends - and loads of them, too. There is no strife, no money issues, no addictions, no suicides, or anything else negative t ...more
Sandra Stiles
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
Roger Rosenblatt lost his daughter Amy and a very early age. She left behind a husband and three children. The youngest only a year old. Roger and his wife pulled up stakes and moved in with their son-in-law to help him with the children. together they all work together to get through this tough time. This memoir rang vvery true for me. Roger talks openly and honestly about dealing with grief and how it affects all involved. Simple things such as realizing they were having an off day and took it ...more
Regina Mclaughlin
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clsc
Not long ago I hopscotched my way through Rosenblatt's picaresque novel "Beet." It had been a lark of a reading-list selection--satire in the coy tradition of "Candide."

How lacking in gravity, compared to the elegaic work "Making Toast," written in the nearly strangled voice of a father bereft. And in anger that it must be so.

We join the author through the cycling of the first year without, and discover, laid bare, just so many homely truths about day-to-day life after loss. Here words hardly
Rosenblatt’s thirty-eight-year-old daughter, Amy, suddenly dies from an asymptomatic heart condition. Amy’s husband, a hand surgeon, is left to raise the couple’s three very young children. Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, move in with the family to help. This book focused on the family’s grieving process and their journey into rebuilding their lives together. The book also served as a lovely memorial to Amy.

Where the message soured for me was with the numerous passages of namedropping. In light
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those quietly beautiful books. It's about grieving and at the same time, going about your normal everyday life after the death of a loved one.

The chapter on grief in the book A Little Life was intense and gut wrenching like nothing I had ever read. But then the character didn't have any kids and therefore had the "luxury" to give himself up completely to his grief.

In this book however, there are little children involved. The sudden death of their mother has left a gaping hole in
Cindy Knoke
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a moving book about love, loss, and family. Most of all about love and a remarkable family. Rosenblatt's daughter died suddenly leaving behind a husband and three young children. Rosenblatt and his wife, a retired schoolteacher, pull up stakes and move in with their son in law to help him raise the grandchildren and cope with their collective grief.
You end up very impressed with this family, their commitment to each other, and their strength in facing devastating grief.
Rosenblatt finds
Apr 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Wow--what a disappointment this book was! Here I thought I would get some help with my own grief. What a surprise! I've always wondered what people do with death that don't believe in God and now I know! This guy and his family have no religious affiliation or spiritual grounding at all. They end up being bitter and angry. I kept waiting for them to transform as time went on but it didn't happen. So sad! It was also too "we summer in the Hamptons, we love Obama, and I name drop every chance I ge ...more
The writing in this book is beautiful and spare, but the author comes across as very self-absorbed and the family just a little too perfect. The world written of in this book, with private school, a nanny (who works five 12-hour days a week to take care of one child when there are three other adults in the house), shopping splurges and plays in New York City, is very foreign to me and I found it difficult to relate to. Also, the random politics thrown in were sort of jarring, along with the name ...more
Nov 25, 2017 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Don't know how it got on my lists... maybe I was thinking that I'd read it as bibliotherapy if someone close to me died. But after getting halfway before dozing off, I have no motivation to pick it up now or in the future. It's like a self-indulgent blog. And I can't identify with the people. And there's not enough of the kids (and what there is of them is too often cute kid snapshots in a wallet, not often enough actual sweet or poignant anecdotes).
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, non-fiction
A very tender book by a lovely writer, Roger Rosenblatt. His simple recounting of life raising his young grandchildren, after his daughter's sudden death at a very young age, brought tears and smiles to me as I listened to it. I know those kids are going to be OK with Boppo and Ginny raising them. A good read/listen.
Fred Fenimore
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Strangely distant for a memoir of grief.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was one of the most difficult memoirs (?) I’ve read. Not because the subject matter was painful but because the writing was...difficult to get around.

Originally published as an essay in The New Yorker in 2008, Making Toast is the result of the author confronting the sudden death of his daughter and how the structure of his family changed. While that seems like a fairly direct event to hang a memoir on, I found the author’s stream-of-conscious, pedantic, repetitive writing incredibly off-pu
This is a beautifully written memoir written after Roger Rosenblatt's daughter died suddenly at age 38 leaving her husband a widower and three small children motherless. Rosenblatt and his wife left their home on Long Island and moved in with their son-in-law and grandchildren and helped to fill in the gap left by Amy's death.

I found myself engrossed in Rosenblatt's story of how he related to his grandchildren, his son-in-law and other family members.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Making Toast"--such an ordinary, mundane ritual of life and one that truly expresses the heart of this short memoir. I pray I am never in the position of wanting to write a book like this. And I pray that I am such a person, although a grandmother and not a young mother, that someone would want to write a book like this about me.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Another book that I have NO idea who recommended, but it was on my "to read" list, so I read it. This is a memoir about a man, Roger, and his wife, Ginny, who end up moving in with their son-in-law and three young grandchildren after Roger and Ginny's daughter suddenly/unexpectedly dies at age 38. It was a super quick read, and if you are a parent at all, you can relate to what it is like for all surviving family members. There are sad moments, funny moments,....basically a story about finding y ...more
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ROGER ROSENBLATT, whose work has been published in 14 languages, is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and three Times bestsellers, including the memoirs KAYAK MORNING, THE BOY DETECTIVE, and MAKING TOAST, originally an essay in the New Yorker. His newest book is THE STORY I AM, a collection on writing and the writing life.

Rosenblatt has also written seven off-Broadway p

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